Wine Wednesday Quick Quiz Answers
Here are the correct answers for the Quick Quiz:
QUESTION 1 ANSWER
Which one of the options below is NOT a classic grape varietal used in Port production?
- Touriga Nacional
- Tinta Barroca
- Tinta Cao
Although around thirty grape varieties can be used to make Port, most modern vineyards are made up of a selection of five or six top red grape types now generally considered to produce the finest wines. Some other varieties may be added in smaller proportions where dictated by specific growing conditions.
Among the top red grape varieties are:
The Touriga Nacional is probably the most famous of the top red varieties. Its small thick skinned berries give low yields and produce dark, concentrated wines with enormous reserves of fruit and massive tannins. They give depth, volume and stamina to the wines.
The Touriga Francesa is a consistent and reliable producer of top quality port, yielding intense fruity wines similar to those of the Touriga Nacional but more subtle in character and more aromatic, often contributing an attractive floral scent. They have a firm tannic backbone and help give the wine its structure.
Its large berries and big bunches produce relatively high yields and the variety gives its best results in dry years. It produces well structured, aromatic wines developing great elegance and complexity with age, often developing distinctive ‘resiny’ fragrances.
This variety produces luscious, fragrant wines, sweet, soft and round on the palate. The grapes are richer in anthocyanins than in tannins and therefore provide more colour than structure, The Tinta Barroca therefore benefits from being associated with more tannic, austere varieties. It is usually grown in cooler or shadier parts of the vineyard to temper its ability to produce a large amount of sugar in hot years.
Tinta Cão (or Tinto Cão)
Tinta Cão is very reliable, maintaining its vigour even on very poor soils. The tiny compact bunches of small berries produce long lasting wines with crisp acidity and a velvety texture, which can sometimes be tough and austere when young but develop great finesse with age. The Tinta Cão is the least widely planted of the top varieties due to its very low yields but is attracting growing interest as its qualities become better understood.
As for the incorrect answer:
Encruzado is arguably Portugal’s finest white grape variety, although far from its most famous. Planted mainly in the granite hills of Dão in the center of the country, Encruzado makes rich, full-bodied wines with aromas of lemon, woody herbs, stonefruit and melon, often with floral overtones. These wines are prized for their waxy, textural mouthfeel and well-made examples can be cellared for many years.
QUESTION 2 ANSWER
Which one of the below is NOT a name for a Port style wine made in South Africa?
- Cape Oporto
- Cape Ruby
- Cape Tawny
- Cape LBV
- Cape Vintage Reserve
The actual designation ‘Port Wine’ only appeared in the second half of the 17th century, during a period of expansion in the Douro – the wild inhospitable valley along the banks of the River Douro up stream from the port city of Porto. In 1678, the sons of a Liverpool wine merchant are credited with the ‘discovery’ of the Port wine making technique – they observed an abbot in the town of Lamego adding brandy to fermenting wine, shipped a few barrels of this fiery sweet wine back home and were greeted with much success.
Due to its immense popularity in the 18th century and rampant wine forgery, the Marquis of Pombal created the Companhia or Companhia Gerald da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro on the 10th September 1756 to protect the producers of the Douro and the shippers in Porto . This Pombaline demarcation introduced the concept of a ‘controlled denomination of origin’, which not only defined the boundaries of the wine region, but also created a register and classification of vineyards, as well as legislation in controlling and certifying the wines. This demarcation precedes that of the Bordeaux Classification by almost a century.
As for the practice of fortifying wines – the adding brandy or wine spirit to fermenting must – in the Cape to create a “Port”-styled wine, this can be traced back to the beginning of the 19th century, when there was a strong demand for these wines in Europe. At this time the wines of the Cape were well known in Europe, especially those sweet wines of Constantia. A renaissance of sorts started in the late 1960’s with producers in the Cape planting quality Portuguese varietals – especially Tinta Barocca and Touriga Naçional – to improve the quality of the local fortified wines.
By the late-80’s dedicated producers started to align their style of winemaking with that of the top Portuguese producers – i.e. crafting drier, age-worthy fortified wines solely and preferably from Portuguese varietals. These dedicated producers formed SAPPA in 1992 and have continued to promote the crafting of fine Cape fortifieds and table wines from Portuguese varietals. Recently, the focus both in the Douro and locally has shifted to the crafting of exceptional varietal and blended table wines from the traditional ‘Port’ varietals.
Port Styles in South Africa
Not all ‘Ports’ are the same! Each style has its own unique characteristics, production method, ageing potential and colour. The only unifying attribute of all ‘Ports’ are that they are fortified.
Contrary to the common held belief, the crafting of a fine ‘Port’ is amongst the most challenging endeavours to undertake – as it requires meticulous dedication to each step of the process from the vineyard, the ferment, fortification, barrel maturation, culminating in blending and the creation of wines that can easily mature for decades.
- Cape White
- Cape Pink
- Cape Ruby
- Cape Tawny
- Cape Dated / Vintage Tawny
- Cape Late Bottled Vintage (LBV)
- Cape Vintage
- Cape Vintage Reserve
QUESTION 3 ANSWER
What does LBV mean in Port production?
- Late Bottled Vintage
- Limited Bottling Vintage
- Late Bold Varietal
- Lightly Blended Vintage
Late Bottled Vintage (also known as LBV) is, like Vintage Port, produced from a single-vintage. The main point differing the two, is that LBV spends much longer in barrel.
It is said that the style was born of a mistake, when a Vintage Port was kept in barrel for too long and was no longer suitable for release in that category. No one can agree who was responsible for this, and several Port estates lay claim to the honour. Over time, they have become two distinct styles of wine, equally respected.
LBV differs from Vintage Port in few different ways:
- It is usually produced every year, and not just in those years declared to be of outstanding quality.
- It spends much longer in barrel, between four and six years before it is bottled. A degree of oxidative aging occurs during barrel maturation, though not to the same degree as Tawny Port.
- It is bottled unfiltered and requires decanting prior to serving.
The more modern style of LBV is a filtered, fined and cold-stabilised version that is produced for more immediate consumption. The wine is designed to be bright and clean – however, purists believe much of the Port’s character is stripped away by the process.
The traditional unfiltered style of LBV are full bodied, have more structure and are required to be decanted prior to consumption.
Producers have the option of maturing it for a minimum of three years in bottle before release. In 2002, revised regulations resulted in the inclusion of ‘bottle matured’ on the label requiring the port to have spent at least three years in bottle prior to release. Both traditional and bottle-matured LBVs are widely regarded as more serious styles of port.
QUESTION 4 ANSWER
What is Flor yeast?
- A veil or thin layer of indigenous yeast cells that forms on top of biologically aged sherry wines
- Type of bacteria that infects wine and makes it sour
- A flower-shaped mold that grows on grapes and enhances their
- A synthetic additive that improves the colour and aroma of wine
Flor (Spanish and Portuguese for flower) in winemaking, is a film of yeast on the surface of wine, important in the manufacture of some styles of sherry. The flor is formed naturally under certain winemaking conditions, from indigenous yeasts found in the region of Andalucía in southern Spain. Normally in winemaking, it is essential to keep young wines away from exposure to air by sealing them in airtight barrels, to avoid contamination by bacteria and yeasts that tend to spoil it. However, in the manufacture of sherries, the slightly porous oak barrels are deliberately filled only about five-sixths full with the young wine, leaving ‘the space of two fists’ empty to allow the flor yeast to take and the bung is not completely sealed. The flor favours cooler climates and higher humidity, so the sherries produced in the coastal Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María have a thicker cap of flor than those produced inland in Jerez. The yeast gives the resulting sherry its distinctive fresh taste, with residual flavours of fresh bread. Depending on the development of the wine, it may be aged entirely under the veil of flor to produce a fino or manzanilla sherry, or it may be fortified to limit the growth of flor and undergo oxidative aging to produce an amontillado or oloroso sherry.
During the fermentation phase of sherry production, the flor yeast works anaerobically, converting sugar into ethanol. When all the sugar has been consumed, the physiology of the yeast changes to where it begins an aerobic process of breaking down and converting the acids into other compounds such as acetaldehyde. A waxy coating appears on the cells’ exterior, causing the yeast to float to the surface and form a protective ‘blanket’ thick enough to shield the wine from oxygen. This process drastically lowers the acidity of the wine and makes sherry one of the most aldehydic wines in the world. Studies have shown that for the flor to thrive, the wine must stay in a narrow alcohol range of 14.5% to 16% ABV. Below 14.5% the yeast will not form its protective cap, and so the wine will oxidise to the point of becoming vinegar. Above 16% the flor cannot survive, and so the wine essentially becomes an oloroso.
QUESTION 5 ANSWER
What does Flor yeast do to wine?
- Flor yeast provides a protective layer on the wine, preventing any oxygen from influencing the style
- Flor yeast is used to sweeten the wine
- Flor yeast is added to wine to increase its alcohol content
- Flor yeast is known to give wine a bitter taste
See Answer 4 for what Flor Yeast does to wine.
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